The Ladies continued the strong form with a 2-0 victory over Wauchope Lasiandras on Saturday.
Travelling to Wauchope for the first of three Redbacks v Wauchope matches for the day, the Ladies were keen on continuing their strong start to the season. Unsure of what to expect after the Wauchope sides had been reshuffled over the past couple of weeks, and with a number of players unavailable for the match, the game was certainly going to be a test for the developing squad.
The Redbacks started hard, and dominated the first ten minutes of play. Lani Slade, playing up front for the match, created a number of headaches for the Wauchope side, as she made opportunities and outplayed the defence. The Redbacks were able to make some early openings, but an inability to convert these chances saw the Redbacks heads drop early, and the game quickly begin to shift.
For much of the first half, the Redbacks resorted to a reactive style of football, frustrated by an inability to complete set plays, and the easy turnover of balls. Some strong defence and a stella save by keeper Maddie Newman kept the Redbacks in the game, but it certainly wasn’t the game the Redbacks had hoped to play.
Despite the frustration, at the 25 minute mark, the Redbacks found themselves attacking once again. After some good hustle on the ball, it was Slade who found herself with a little bit of space, making no mistake, and hitting the ball sweetly, to give the Redbacks a 1-0 lead.
From here the game shifted, and the Redbacks took back control. Opportunities began to appear again, and Wauchope were forced to defend heavily to keep the visitors from scoring again.
At half-time, the focus was on keeping the game positive, and not letting it descend into a battle of words. “We had really dropped our heads in the first half,” Coach Tamara Burns said. “Much of the talk on the field was quite frustrated, which was causing more players to drop their heads. After our goal, we lifted and the whole team began to play better football. It was a great example of how if we can build each other up on the field, we’ll play much better as a team.”
The second half saw a lot more control from the Redbacks, with the balance of play falling their way. Midfielders Tegan Gray and Bri St Ledger once again worked tirelessly to control the game, and although hampered by a very heavy midfield presence from Wauchope, did an outstanding job when typically outnumbered 2-1. The teamwork and positivity certainly worked to turn the game around for the Redbacks in the second half, with a number of players unlucky not to score. The Redbacks sealed the deal though when a perfect pass to sweeper Yas Egan, who had earlier deflated the game ball with the strength of her kick, found her in prime position just inside the half way line, for a perfectly weighted shot. The Wauchope keeper was helpless to stop it, as it sailed just high of her head, and into the top of the goal, giving the Redbacks a 2-0 lead.
Despite the match seemingly being sealed, with 10 to go, Wauchope went on the counter attack, and found themselves in goal scoring position. Newman was forced to make not one, but two incredible saves, denying Wauchope of any points for the match. Full time score 2-0 to Redbacks.
First Grade – Redbacks Wilt to Wauchope
The Redbacks First Grade squad was charitable away from home on Saturday to Premier League new comers, Wauchope, as they went down 2-0 in a frustrated performance.
The Redbacks started strong in the first half, and within minutes, some speedy work from Lochie Swan and Ryan Squires saw the ball find the back of the net. It looked as though this would be the game to turn the season around, but alas the referee ruled that the keeper had been taken out, and the goal was disallowed.
From here, things seemed to unravel. Although the better side for much of the first half, the Redbacks managed to squander three good chances, and loose defence eventually cost the team a goal, largely against the run of play.
In the second half, Wauchope continued to apply pressure, buoyed by the prospect of their first prospective win for the season. Midfielders Aiden Shaw, Jarryd Shaw, Toby Otto and Ben Makin found themselves in some tough battles in the centre, and frustration on many occasions continued to get the better of the Redbacks, rather than a settled game.
Mid way through the second half, Wauchope sealed the match when an unmarked Wauchope forward managed to sneak himself between our keeper and defence, scoring the second goal of the match.
A penalty save from keeper Lachlan Peterson did little to lift the squad, with the final score 2-0 another disappointment for the hard working squad.
Coach Jim Tredinnick continues to be positive of the season yet to come. “This year’s squad is significantly different to last year’s, and it’s taking time to find the right dynamic. Having said that, the number of goals against us continues to decline as our defence improves, and as this continues, we’ll find ourselves back in the winner’s circle soon enough.” Player of the Match was awarded to left-back Ryan Marjoribanks, whilst Riley Papas and Ryan Squires picked up minor points.
The Reserve Grade team provided stouter resistance and were a little unlucky not to salvage a draw.
The game saw Wauchope score early, and the Redbacks down to just 10 men after David Jackson was sent off for a conventional goal saving tackle just before half time.
With scores tied at 2-2, some solid defence and a swift counter attack rewarded the Redbacks with a penalty in the second half. However a good save by the Wauchope keeper led to a quick counter attack from the home side, and the draw breaking goal for Wauchope, giving them a 3-2 victory, and denying the Redbacks of any points.
A special thank you to Luke Roe, Ben Morgan and Man of the Match Logan Shaw, who all stepped up from the 18s to help out the Reserve Grade side depleted by injuries and absences.
It was a tough night for the Over 35's on Wednesday, as they took on Port FC in their second match of the season.
With a number of players unavailable or already injured, the game was going to be a tough match for those still standing. Though spruking the finest of the Redbacks proud history, the men were up against a very youthful looking Port FC team, many of whom had come from Premier League the year earlier. And with Port FC intent on winning the 'sheep station' for the night, whilst the Redbacks were more focused on the match itself, it was always going to be a tough affair.
The first five minutes though saw the Redbacks take control, and within the first two minutes, a corner from the Redbacks was bounced away by the Port FC keeper, only to be cleaned up by Josh Tomasone and put away nicely. However the referee ruled that the goalie had been taken out, and the goal was ultimately disallowed.
From here FC picked up their game, and the Redbacks struggled to keep up with the fitness levels. Redbacks defence, led by Jose Ustariz and Brett Anderson did some amazing work to limit the number of chances FC had, whilst Redbacks Goalie Matt Whatson did a superb job in goals, making a number of outstanding saves. But the FC pressure was too strong, and the goals couldn't be denied forever. Ten minutes in, a save by Whatson was picked up by an unmarked FC player, who volleyed the shot to be top of a net for a cracking goal and a 1-0 lead to the Port side.
Not too long later though it was the Redbacks who found themselves with some space after a poor clearance from FC saw Barry in some space, but the spin on the ball meant the shot went wide, and Redbacks were denied their goal. Second time round though there was no mistake, after a goal kick from FC once again found Barry, who lobbed the ball away this time to bring the scores level at 1-1.
For a little while the Redbacks seemed on a roll, with a great through ball for Tomasone once again put in the back of the net, only this time for Tomasone to be ruled offside.
As the second half kicked off, the fitness of FC shined through. A lack of marking up and dropping back for the Redbacks cost them their second goal. Not too long later, an enthusiastic tackle, possibly from behind, by Simon Hancox within the box, saw FC awarded a penalty. The shot was saved by Whatson with a crowd raising dive, but the loose ball was cleaned up by FC, who made sure of it the second time around. Two subsequent corners late in the second half saw two more goals to FC, with the final score of 6-1 seeing the victory, and sheep station, awarded to FC on the night.
Despite the loss, the Redbacks finished the match on a high, and with minimal injuries, ready and raring to take on their next opponents, Port Saints, 6:30pm at Findlay Park.